Kick off spring with the sights, sounds and scents of the Philadelphia Flower Show – America’s premier horticultural expo since 1829. Also, experience the DuPont's grand estate and botanicals at Longwood Gardens, exquisite cultural collections, innovative urban landscape design, and dazzling private and public artworks. Plus, tour highlights from our nation’s earliest days in America’s first World Heritage City, seeing such iconic sites as Independence Hall National Park, Carpenter's Hall, Franklin Square, William Penn atop City Hall, and much more.
- Full day at Philadelphia Flower Show with private pre-opening tour privileges
- Excellent Center City location in accommodations right next door to Show
- Visit the du Ponts’ Longwood Gardens Estate
- Tour the world-famous Barnes Foundation Collection on the Parkway
- Guided tour of unique Magic Gardens
- Iconic works by the Wyeths plus special George Weymouth retrospective at Brandywine River Museum & Conservancy
- Experience historical Independence highlights including the brand-new Museum of the American Revolution
- Go behind-the-scenes at Fairmount Park Conservatory and Shofuso Japanese House & Gardens
Welcome to the cradle of Liberty and America’s “Garden Capital”— with more than 30 public gardens, arboreta and historic landscapes, and a tradition of horticulture going back 300 years. From the moment you arrive at the airport, you’ll see evidence of the city’s vibrant, 30-year-old public arts program that has earned Philly the nickname, City of Murals. Meet your Discovery Director and fellow travelers for a warm welcome reception.
DAY 2–BRANDYWINE RIVER/WYETHS & WEYMOUTH/ LONGWOOD GARDENS
We start today with an easy-going exploration of Pierre du Pont’s expansive Longwood Gardens. Freely roam its massive Conservatory domes, exploring highlights including its seasonal collection of Orchids and Sky-Blue Poppies, tree-filled atriums, elegant music hall and pipe organ, and...be sure not to miss the “award-winning,” individualized and artfully landscaped restrooms(!). Weather permitting, meander through forested walking paths, massive ornamental fountains, ornamental lily ponds, and other areas of the 1,077-acre estate. After lunch, we pass historic battlefield sites on rolling farmland to arrive at the Brandywine River Museum & Conservancy, once home and inspiration to three generations of a great American arts family—N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. We’ll see their works, plus a special retrospective of Museum founder George A. Weymouth, also a skilled wildflower and landscape painter. Tonight, unpack for the rest of the tour downtown, ideally situated right between William Penn atop City Hall and the entrance to the Philadelphia Flower Show. Rest up tonight for the world’s largest indoor flower expo! B, L
DAY 3–PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW “THE WONDERS OF WATER”
After breakfast, you’ll beat the public crowds with a private early morning tour of the Flower Show grounds led by expert docents. Hear fascinating stories about the Show exhibits, design inspiration and challenges, and history. Enjoy unimpeded photo ops, and see exhibitors carefully preparing their displays and competition entries for the day. Then, when the doors open, feel the excitement swirl as the public exhibits, workshops, expert presentations, hands-on crafts activities, and marketplace get underway. Your in-and-out privileges give you freedom to pace yourself and do the show your way. When you’re ready for a break, opt for a massage treatment at the garden spa, chill out at the tearoom, thrill to a display of live butterflies, or try the free wine tasting. Lunch on your own among scores of fresh Amish, seafood, ethnic and artisanal food vendors at Reading Terminal Market, or in nearby Chinatown. B
DAY 4–CITY ART, ARCHITECTURE & PARKWAYS
Today, see some of the amazing public artwork of this “City of Murals,” including Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens—a fascinating and innovative complex of “urban gardens” constructed of mosaic, glass, iron and mural artwork that snakes through several alleyways and streets along storied South Street. Next, a driving tour showcases Center City’s Avenue of the Arts, stately Rittenhouse Square and the flag-strewn Boulevard of Nations en route to the new Barnes Foundation Museum–housing one of the most impressive private art collections in the country. After a light lunch, we’ll learn about self-made connoisseur Albert Barnes—a physician, arborist and medicinal botanist—and his unique way of displaying his eclectic collection. Next, pass Rodin’s “The Thinker” and Rocky on the Philadelphia Art Museum Steps as we pass up the classically designed Ben Franklin Parkway into Fairmount Park—the largest landscaped urban park in the world. We’ll visit the Horticultural Center’s working municipal greenhouses, therapeutic gardens for the blind, and stunning Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens, dating back to the 1876 Centennial Exposition. After a private tour and tea ceremony demonstration, we head back to the City past the grand Roman Water Works and charming Boathouse Row. B, L, D
DAY 5–OLDE CITY/AMERICAN REVOLUTION/PENN’S LANDING
Enjoy an overview tour of key landmarks from nation’s beginnings, riding cobblestone streets past Independence Historic National Park, 18th Century Garden, Headhouse Square, Christ Church Burial Ground, the Betsy Ross House, and more. Then, relive the dynamic story of our path to independence through a fresh, interactive and narrative approach at the acclaimed new Museum of the American Revolution. Enjoy an authentic, Colonial-style lunch at City Tavern, a favorite meeting spot of the Founding Fathers est. in 1773; keep an eye out for staff in period costume and a visit from Owner/Chef Walter Staib. Before leaving, we’ll visit the vibrant Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River, with its open plazas, lively wharfs, sea vessels, maritime museum and attractions, amazing views of Camden and the Ben Franklin Bridge, and more. B, L
high 50 / low 34
Schedule your flight to arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Day 1.
Schedule your flight home anytime after 4:30 p.m. on Day 5.
Starting hotel offers 24-hour complimentary shuttle service to/from Philadelphia International Airport.
Complimentary parking is available at our starting hotel for the duration of tour.
Moderate to moderately extensive walking is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking can be on uneven surfaces.
Refrigerators, microwaves, hair dryers, irons, ironing boards, Coffee makers, swimming pools and exercise rooms throughout tour.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further details approximately 90 days prior to departure with important details regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing all your final documents.
Updates Updates to this document are available from our Discovery Reservations Team, and will be posted online at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/PFS.
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